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Tag: Benefits

Health Benefits of Relaxing in Nature

It’s natural human instinct to pine for the outdoors, and it’s due to a primal instinct that is still ingrained in our psyche to yearn for the relief of the open.  But it comes down to more than just instinct, there are physical benefits to leaving the city lights and breathing fresh, clean air.

 

Research is increasingly illuminating the rich and measurable benefits of being in nature.  And the beauty of it is that nature has no set formula: some of us like to fish, hunt, hike, kayak, jog or simply take pictures of the perfect sunset.

 

  • Feel Better Emotionally: We all know how we feel when we do our favorite outdoor activity, exhilarated, calm, relaxed, fortified, and restored.
  • Feel Better Physically: Time spent in nature is associated with a decrease in blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity, and heart rate.
  • Have a Better Workout:  Several studies have shown that having a “green” workout leaves subjects feeling increased energy, greater revitalization, less depression, and less anger when they exercised outdoors versus exercising indoors.
  • Feel Better Mentally:  Being outdoors replenishes voluntary attention, help those with ADHD, enhances brain connectivity for more efficient focus.

 

All the research also points to the fact that time in nature most powerfully nurtures us when we’re most “at risk” – of disease, depression, or desperation.

 

So whether you take an outdoor vacation, simply take an afternoon trip, or step outside your office for a lunch break in a public park, it’s important to expose yourself to the health benefits of nature on a regular basis.  Health Fitness Revolution recommends being outdoors at least twice a week for an hour to start noticing the benefits long-term.

 

The Health Benefits of Massage

Massages aren’t just relaxing, they are associated with many health benefits when performed by a licensed professional.  There have been many scientific studies that prove, through blood tests, that regular massages reduce inflammation, help with autoimmune conditions,  decrease stress hormones, and boost the immune system.  Here are the Health Benefits of Massage:

 

  • Ease Pain: 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain, and studies show that a massage can greatly reduce back pain, stiffness, and improve range of motion- especially in those with osteoarthritis.
  • Curb Depression and Anxiety: Massages reduce the stress level cortisol, which result in reduced blood pressure and improved mood.  Massages also boost the hormones of dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in depression.
  • Improve Sleep:  Most people have fallen asleep during a massage- and there’s a reason for it!  Massages affect delta waves, which are the waves linked to deep sleep.
  • Boost Immune System: Research has shown that massages lead to increased white blood cell count, which combat disease and boost your immune system.
  • Raise Alertness: In a particular study, those who enjoyed a 15-min massage were more alert and completed math questions faster than a control group that had not had a massage.
  • Beauty Benefits:  Massages lead to increased blood-flow, which plumps skin, promotes healing, and helps the body rid itself of toxins through the lymphatic system.
  • Reduce Headaches:  Many headaches are due to tension, and getting regular massages will loosen neck muscles and stress levels, which can help those who regularly suffer from migraines and headaches.
  • Cancer Treatment Supplement: Because massages are known to relieve pain, anxiety, stress, depression, and nausea, massages can ease those that are going through rigorous treatment of illnesses.

 

Health Fitness Revolution recommends getting 1 to 2 massages a month in order to experience the full range of health benefits.

 

Health Benefits Of Including Your Dog In Fitness Workouts

Studies have continually shown that working out with a partner increases your motivation and the likelihood that you will actually stick to your training program. But finding a reliable, training partner who’ll motivate you consistently and never cancel is a challenge.  We know of a partner who will never come to you with “I’m tired”, “I’m busy”, “I’m not feeling well”… and that’s your very best friend – the family dog!

 

Here are the “Health Benefits Of Including Your Dog In Fitness Workouts” from HFR team and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic

 

  • You’re healthier for owning a dog:  Studies are now proving that dog owners are more likely to exercise regularly and to be fitter and healthier than their pooch-free peers. New research from Michigan State University reports that people with canine companions are 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than are folks with either other pets or none at all.
  • Dogs can do more for you than a treadmill: A big part of motivation is that when you interact with your dog, endorphins rise and stress levels fall. This emotional connection definitely gives an extra boost to your workout.
  • You’re more active because of your dog: Research shows that dog owners often log in twice as many workouts—they don’t see taking the dog out as a sweat session, so they still spin and lift.  A University of Missouri study found that overweight participants who walked dogs for 20 minutes five days a week for a year lost an average of 14 pounds.  If you include some light jogging, frisbee throwing, and tug of war, you can rev your metabolism up even more!
  • Your pooch will push you: You will never find anyone more excited to workout than your dog- so much so that studies reported that people who walked with their dogs increased their speed by 28 percent over 12 weeks, while those who strolled with a human friend got only 4 percent faster.  Your dog will never complain or be discouraged!
  • Dogs will keep you on a routine: Dogs are creatures of habit- which means that even if you try and forget to go on a regular morning run, you’re dog won’t, he will let you know in his way that it’s time to get off the couch.
  • Try new activities: Dogs love adventure, many will love to hike, bike, swim, or even watch you while you do bootcamp!
  • Borrow a dog: Even if you can’t own a dog because of where you live, or don’t want the responsibility, you can still get the health and emotional benefits by volunteering at a shelter and walking/playing with the dogs and fostering them on the weekends.
  • Listen to your dog: Some breeds are more active than others so it’s important to watch for sign of exhaustion in your dog and listen to his needs.  Try not to run on very hot black pavement and make sure he stays hydrated and happy!

 

How Cinnamon Benefits Health

Who doesn’t love a sprinkling of cinnamon on a warm apple or atop a chai latte?  It’s just one of those spices that tastes fantastic.  But taste is not the only reason to love cinnamon.  Here are 10 cinnamon health benefits:

  • It  regulates blood sugar it’s a great choice for diabetics
    and hypoglycemics alike.  It is also great for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.
  • It reduces LDL cholesterol levels.  LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol.  Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • It has natural anti-infectious compounds.  In studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens.
  • It reduces pain linked to arthritis.  In studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain.
  • Research done at the University of Texas shows that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease.
  • Cinnamon is a natural food preservative.
  • Cinnamon contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese.
  • Cinnamon been proven effective for menstrual pain.
  • Cinnamon has been shown to aid with infertility.  Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.
  • Cinnamon is an antiviral antifungal, and antibacterial machine, so it does more than just boost the immune system — it actually fights the pathogens that cause illness.

 

The Benefits Of Sun Exposure

Vitamin D is important for our health, and while a supplement exists, we recommend going for the most natural version – which in this case is sun exposure.

Here is why sunlight is important:

  •  Helps Curb Depression: There’s a reason more people get depressed during the dark, cold, winter months.  Exposure to sunlight helps boost our mood because it stimulates the synthesis of feel-good hormones endorphins.
  • Helps us Sleep: Exposure to sunlight during the day helps us sleep better at night because it increases the production of melatonin during the night, which is our bodies natural sleep hormone.
  • Aids in the Absorption of Vitamin D: The sun prevents rachitis in both children and adults and osteoporosis in elders because the skin synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, which makes possible calcium absorption in the intestine, helping the organism grow strong bones.
  • Helps Protect Against certain Cancers: Regular and controlled exposure to the sun has a preventive effect against cancer of colon, breast, leukemia and lymphomas.  Vitamin D, through sunlight, and some related compounds impede the development of some cancer cells.
  • Strengthens your Heart:  Exposure to the sun strengthens the cardiovascular system. Blood circulation is improved, the pulse, arterial pressure, moderately high glycemic and cholesterol levels can be normalized.
  • Good for your Liver:  Sun rays are an effective treatment against jaundice because the sun improves liver function.
  • Help your Kidneys: Being in the sun and sweating helps eliminate toxins through your skin, which helps your body with its liver functions.
  • Increases Metabolism: The sun improves thyroid function, which is directly tied to metabolism.
  • Help Arthritis Pain:  The sun rays can help ease the pain caused by swollen joints and arthritis.
  • Sunlight is a Natural Anti-Microbial: Which is why you can put household items such as carpet, blankets, pillows out in the sun to kill microbes.

Health Fitness Revolution always aims at proving you the best health information available, but we always urge you to follow our suggestions in the safest way possible – so limit your exposure to 20 minutes of direct sunlight and always wear sunscreen!

The Health Benefits of Omega-3s

Omega-3 refers to omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats, which are vital nutrients. Omega-3 is used to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health. It’s polyunsaturated, which makes it a heart-healthy fat that help reduce blood triglycerides (fats) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol.

Here are some more health reasons to include more Omega-3 fatty acids into your healthy nutrition routine:

  • They Curb Depression:  Studies have confirmed that omega 3 oils can decrease the symptoms of depression. Most research points to the EPA and DHA as the factors that contribute to getting you in a better mood.  Omega 3 oils have also been effective for helping new moms with postpartum depression. The process of pregnancy can leave a mom pretty depleted of many nutrients and omega 3 oils is one that can help once the baby is born.
  • 90% of us are Deficient:  At least 90% of the population do not get enough Omega-3’s.  Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid: It’s essential to health, and because the human body doesn’t produce it, it’s essential in the diet.  So let’s all vow eat more fish, avocados, coconut oil, flax seeds, etc.
  • They Make Skin Supple, Soft, and Healthy:  Omega-3’s are essential for healthy skin. Using these oils internally can help build strong and plump skin cells that give you a glow that no cosmetic can match.
  • They Make Your Brain Sharper:  60% of our brain is fat and the majority of that are essential fatty acids.  So if you’re deficient, then you’re brain just won’t work properly.
  • They Ease Joint Pain and Inflammation:  While inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune response, research indicates that it also underlies a host of serious illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and autoimmune diseases.  Omega-3’s alleviate inflammation and thus joint pain as well.
  • Prevent Some Types Of Cancer:  because inflammation is part of the cause of certain cancers, because Omega-3’s reduce inflammation, they also reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Boost your immune system as mentioned above, if you can reduce inflammation, you also can boost your immune system.  By reducing the inflammation in the body, you also increase immune system efficiency. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids will give you a higher amount of eicosanoids which are responsible for regulating immune and inflammation responses.
  • Lower your risk of heart disease:  Omega 3 oils have been shown to lower triglycerides which are fats in the blood.  Lower fat in the blood allows your hormones to function properly and keeps your arteries safe from potential clogging.

Soursop Health Benefits: Start Eating This Weird Fruit!

Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to tropical climates.  It’s flavor is described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana.  Recently, there have been many posts and articles circulating online that claim that Soursop is a potential treatment for cancer- and while there is not enough evidence to support this claim- Health Fitness Revolution has done some research on the fruit to bring you the proven Soursop health benefits:

  •  Good for the Liver:  Soursop juice works great for liver disorders. It reduces the inflammation of the urethra and thus, can lower symptoms like painful urination.
  • Boosts the Immune System:  In recent studies on chemotherapy cycles in patients, it was noted that the immune system of the cancer patients who consumed Soursop tea was not affected or weakened, as compared to other cancer patients.  Also, the Vitamin C in soursop is an antioxidant vitamin that helps strengthen the immune system and helps prevent infections like urinary tract infection, cough and cold.
  • It is a Natural Pain Reliever:  associated with arthritis, joint and back problems, and rheumatism – Soursop has been traditionally used for providing relief from pain associated with the aforementioned conditions.
  • Boosts Energy Levels: Soursop contains thiamine, a compound which improves energy levels.
  • Aids in Digestion: Soursop health benefits include aiding digestive health, as the fibrous flesh of soursop helps improve digestive health.
  • Prevents Leg Cramps: Potassium present in this fruit is known to be effective in preventing leg cramps.
  • Maintains Bone Health: Soursop contains copper, which promotes the absorption of calcium, a nutrient that is essential for good bone health.
  • Helps Heal Many Skin Ailments: The sap of Soursop’s leaves, or the flesh, can be applied topically to get rid of eczema, skin rash and swelling. Topical application promotes fast healing of wounds and prevents infections.
  • Prevents Anemia: Soursop is rich in iron, is useful to the prevention of anemia.
  • Relief from Migraine: The riboflavin present in soursop helps curb migraine headaches.

The Health Benefits of Coconut Water

We’ve mentioned Coconut water in several articles, from our guide to hydration here, to top items you should be buying at the grocery store here, to the health benefits of coconut milk here.

Here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s top Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water:

  •  Good Alternative to Sports Drinks:  Sports drinks are full of sugar and other chemicals, so coconut water is a great, natural alternative to getting electrolytes into your system.  A study published in the journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2012 found that coconut water was just as effective at rehydrating after a tough workout when compared to a sports drink.
  • Prevents dehydration: coconut water maintains the body’s fluid levels and its potassium content helps maintain water pressure within cells and blood.
  • It’s Almost Fat Free:  Coconut water is virtually fat free, with just 0.5 grams per cup. It also provides a small dose of healthy omega fatty acids, with 4.8 milligrams of omega-6 fat.
  • Fuel for Brain and Muscles:  Due to its electrolytes, coconut water improves nervous system functioning and nerve transmission.
  • Full of Potassium:  There are 600 milligrams of potassium in a serving of coconut water, more than what’s found in a medium-sized banana, and 17% of the recommended daily amount. This helps prevent cramps and spasms in the muscles.
  • Healthy Heart and Kidney:  Reduces the risk of hypertension and strokes and helps prevent or resolve kidney stones.
  • Low Glycemic Index:  With an estimated glycemic load of just 3, the water found in coconut is a good alternative to drinks that have added sugar and could cause a spike in your blood sugar when you drink them.
  • Anti-aging:  Contains compounds (cytokinins) that protect cells from aging and cancer.
  • Low Sodium:  You will find some sodium in the coconut — about 250 milligrams per cup — and that’s part of what makes it hydrating as it replaces sodium lost through sweat.
  • Digestive Aid:  Improves digestion and metabolism via bioactive enzymes. Aids absorption of food and efficacy of drugs due to its electrolytic effect. Soothes intestinal pain/spasm.
  • Supports immune function:  Its Lauric acid content is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It boosts the immune system in fighting infection whilst helping to eradicate intestinal worms.

The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

We can all remember being young children, getting a sunburn, and out parents slathering the red areas with Aloe Vera- and we can all remember the immediate relief we felt once this soothing plant touched our skin.  Due to its potential benefits of treating health conditions and topical lesions, the succulent plant has attracted a lot of attention lately.  The use of Aloe Vera can be traced back to over 6000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Early Egyptians considered the Aloe Vera a plant of immortality and used it for curing battle wounds, burns, blisters and various other conditions.

Now as adults, we can learn about all the health benefits associated with the aloe vera plant- here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s favorite:

  •  Boosts Immune System:  Aloe Vera is full of anti-oxidants which are natural immune enhancers that help to deal with free radicals within the body. Free radicals are the unstable compounds which are bad for the health and contributes to the ageing process. Drinking Aloe Vera juice regularly gives the body a regular supply of anti-oxidants, which can boost and enhance the immune system.
  • Boosts Energy Levels:  The properties in Aloe Vera juice naturally allow the body to cleanse the digestive system. There are many food substances which can cause fatigue and exhaustion which you can solve by taking Aloe Vera juice. When consumed regularly, Aloe Vera juice also allows energy levels to increase and helps in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Reduces Heart Disease Risk:  Eating Aloe enhances your blood quality by stopping blood cells from clumping together, a common cause for strokes.  With the flow of blood properly maintained, oxygen and nutrients can reach every last organ and cell in your body, reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.
  • Aids Digestion and Regularity:  the natural fibers in Aloe juice help with digestion and improve bowel movements. Aloe juice can also be used in treating constipation- it takes about 10 hours to work.
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar:  Studies have shown that if taken regularly for 3 months, Aloe juice can lower blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar level and reducing triglycerides. Also those who are diabetic suffering from peripheral neuropathy (hands and feet going numb) can also get hugely benefitted from Aloe Vera juice.  For more foods that lower blood sugar levels, read our article here.
  • Keeps Gums Healthy:  Due to its natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, aloe is very helpful at maintaining a healthy mouth. At the same time it contains vitamins and minerals which promote cell growth and healing of bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. When suffering from a gum disease, just sprinkle some Aloe Vera powder on your toothbrush before brushing and within few minutes you will feel much better. Regular consumption of Aloe Vera juice also helps in  promoting strong and healthy teeth.
  • Great for the Skin:  As we all know, Aloe is great for burned skin relief.  It soothes the skin, hydrates it, nourishes it and accelerates the regeneration of new skin tissue. By applying fresh Aloe Vera gel on your face you can enjoy well moisturized, glowing and flawless skin. Other useful topical uses are to treat blisters, insect bites and any allergic reactions, minor burns, inflammations and more. Even those with sensitive skin can use Aloe Vera without irritation.
  • Treats Acne:  Acne is a kind of very common skin problem in which the sebaceous glands become more active and inflamed. The anti-inflammatory properties present in Aloe Vera help to get rid of acne and pimples when the gel is applied on the affected skin are twice daily.
  • Treats Inflammation:  Using Aloe externally can ease inflammation of joints, reducing arthritis pain. You can also drink Aloe Vera juice to reduce inflammation throughout the body. People who drink aloe Vera juice for two weeks typically begin to experience a significant reduction of inflammation and pain symptoms.
  • Reduces Cholesterol:  A few recent studies have shown that when used internally, the gel improves the quality of the blood and also lowers high cholesterol levels.

The Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger, with its strong and spicy aroma, has its own place in various types of cuisine. It is so versatile that it can be used fresh or dried, powdered or pickled or in the form of juice or oil.  Ginger tea is another commonly used form, and easy to drink anywhere at anytime.

For thousands of years, ginger has been used for the treatment of innumerable ailments due to its powerful therapeutic and preventive effects. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-emetic properties.

Here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s favorite Health Benefits of Ginger:

  •  Maintains Normal Blood Circulation: contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.
  • Better Digestion: is ideal in assisting digestion, thereby improving food absorption and avoiding possible stomach ache. It appears to reduce inflammation in a similar way to aspirin and ibuprofen- but naturally!
  • Colon Cancer Prevention: A study at the University of Minnesota found that this root may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
  • Prevents Morning Sickness: Some pregnant women may find ginger beneficial in preventing their morning sickness. But it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking it.  For more on the best food to eat during pregnancy, read our previous article here.
  • Anti-flatulence:  Calm in your upset stomach with ginger. Its gas expulsion property provides relief from bloating and gas and helps reduce flatulence.
  • Cold and Flu Prevention:  has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu around Asia. To treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp. of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day.
  • Improves Vitamin Absorption. improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body. It does this by stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzyme secretion.
  • Relieves Headaches:  Applying diluted ginger paste on the forehead is believed to relieve migraine headache. The ability of ginger to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis helps relieve pain and inflammation in blood vessels thereby providing relief from migraine.
  •  Natural Painkiller and Inflammation Reducer: contains some of the most potent anti-inflammatory fighting substances known and is a natural powerful painkiller.
  • Helps with Respiratory Problems: Ginger’s antihistamine property helps in treating allergies. It is also known to inhibit airway contraction and help stimulate the secretion of mucus. It is the herb of choice for persistent cough and sore throat associated with colds. A teaspoon of ginger juice with honey is effective against sore throat. And ginger tea is an all-time favorite to get rid of congestion in the throat and nose. Fresh ginger juice mixed with fenugreek and honey is excellent during asthma.
  • Strengthens Immunity: helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit every day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.
  • Combats Nausea: has demonstrated a success rate of 75% in curing nausea and stomach flus.
  • Remedy for Loss of Appetite: Fuel a dull appetite by eating fresh ginger just before you have your meal. It can get your digestive juices going and increase your appetite.
  • Fights Common Respiratory Problems: If you’re suffering from common respiratory diseases such as a cough, it aids in expanding your lungs and loosening up phlegm because it is a natural expectorant that breaks down and removes mucus. That way you can quickly recover from difficulty in breathing.
  • Aid with Arthritis: The analgesic and anti-inflammatory property of ginger may help reduce joint pain of arthritis in some people. To help relieve muscle and joint ache, add some ginger oil into your bath.
  • May Help Fight Cancer: Ginger root contains a very high level of antioxidants. Ginger has the ability to induce cell death (apoptosis) and suppress certain protein. According to some studies, this root may be a powerful weapon against cancers.
  • Strengthens Immunity: helps improve the immune system. Consuming a little bit every day can help foil potential risk of a stroke by inhibiting fatty deposits from the arteries. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach, and helps battle a bad cough and throat irritation.